Now that the characters have been fully established "Life Tracker Lee Jae-goo" moves firmly into the category of investigative legal thriller. And for good reason- as Jae-goo himself notes, his own personal issues really don't matter here. What's more, even though Jae-goo's experiences have clearly changed the man for the better by the episode's end, it's still a long road to recovery. What was important for him to remember here is who the real enemy is- the big guys who bully the weak.
There's really no other word for it. Bullying doesn't stop in high school, and it quickly becomes obvious why Yeon-hee has shown uncertainty about getting involved in an extended battle. Observe the performance of Yoo Sun as she watches her husband get brutally blamed via evidence that rather starkly indicates he was the victim in all these corporate ongoings. This is brutal stuff that no one should have to go through in the wake of a spouse's death.
And it doesn't stop there. The villains in "Life Tracker Lee Jae-goo" are quite determined to teach anyone who would dare fight back a stark lesson about standing up the powerful. Ultimately the drama is just a story about courage- about being willing to fight against this kind of humiliation because it's the right thing to do. Justice isn't easy, but the cruelty of the villains is exactly why men like Jae-goo need to fight to keep them from abusing their power.
Some might find objection to the rather extreme emotions on display here. Certainly, "Life Tracker Lee Jae-goo" doesn't follow clear cinematic rules regarding build-up. Sucker punches come out of nowhere, and to some extent the villains even ham it up, being blatantly unrepentant. The discerning viewer might consider whether such excessively dramatic behavior goes too far- surely people who have lived a life at the top of the system didn't get there by being total sociopaths, right?
Well, to that complaint, all I can say is you're fortunate to have never been the subject of bullying- and the inextricable connection it has to power. There are definitely times in life where deep introspective consideration and backstory aren't that important. Some people are just selfish jerks, and there's no negotiating with selfish jerks. It's this basic heart that gives "Life Tracker Lee Jae-goo" the emotional resonance to transcend the basic investigative mystery genre format- at only two episodes, it's well worth a watch for anyone who's set their opinion of ambulance chasers a tad low.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Life Tracker Lee Jae-goo" Episode 2"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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